The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10

Christmas always makes me think about my own mortality.  life.  death.  maybe it is the sobering reminder that baby Jesus was born to die.  maybe it is because of the anniversary of family members' deaths.  maybe it is the broken relationships i see all around.  because of friends we are praying for as they walk through the valley of the shadow of death and begin chemo just weeks before Christmas.

the beauty and bounty of the season always seems in stark contast with the frailty of this life.

this season is such a vivacious season.  lights and sounds and smells.  it all seems bigger and brighter.  songs of hope.  tears of joy.  hugs and laughter.  homecomings.  feasts.  and these beautiful visions and moments point us toward eternity.

this season is also often marked by loss or sadness.  loneliness.  and what is that for except to act as reminders that this world has nothing for us.  the thief comes to steal and kill and destroy.  ultimately, it is empty.  it is shadows.  it will pass away.  this stirs in us a deep longing for something true.  something richer.  our hearts long for home.  the warmth that we will feel at the feet of our Savior.  the joy as we join with the saints in worship.  the fulfillment as we feast at the King's table and drink from the fountains of forever.

advent season makes us ache for the ultimate advent of our Lord and Savior.  Christ came that we might have life and have it abundantly.  may all the sweetness and every loss make our hearts pine for home.  may we feel deeply.  may we comprehend anew.  may the moments be richer.  may we enjoy the delights of this life as reminders of the utter delight of Heaven.  it is nigh.